Shaquille O’Neal on NBA Coming to Abu Dhabi

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ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 14: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on November 14, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Two preseason games featuring the Atlanta Hawks and 2021’s NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks will take place on Yas Island on October 6 and 8, for the first time in the Arabian Gulf.

With less than a month to go and to support you as you cover the latest announcements and updates, below are quotes by Shaquille O’Neal, a four-time NBA champion and the ambassador for the historic event, as he expresses his delight to be a part of the games.

“NBA coming to Abu Dhabi will be great for the sport of basketball. This league is truly global and some of the best players in the world are already coming from outside the United States,” O’Neal said while commenting on the impact of NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022, which is part of a ground-breaking multiyear partnership between the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi.

“Bringing players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trae Young overseas, for local kids to see up close, will only spark their interest in the sport. This will certainly help nurture a generation of future talent with more countries playing the sport.”

“Pre-season games are very important, especially for the younger players and new additions on each team. Also, it gets repetitive going up against your teammates in training camp every day, so any time you can simulate real, in-game situations against other players, it is valuable. And these guys will put on a show for the people of Abu Dhabi, it is just what they do.”

In his capacity as ambassador, O’Neal – selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in October – will attend the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022, participate in youth development programming, and interact with local fans during the week of the games.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer will also appear at the “NBA District,” a first-of-its-kind interactive fan event held at Manarat Al Saadiyat in the capital from October 5-9 in conjunction with the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022.

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